Karma Automotive is getting ready to debut some new models in Shanghai -- this we knew. What we didn't know was how exactly they were going to be powered. Thanks to an announcement from the California-based, Chinese-owned automaker on Thursday, now we know that too.
First of all, Karma is calling its vehicles "all-electric," but that's a bunch of malarkey. Its cars can more accurately be described as range-extended electric vehicles, which is another way of saying that they're a fancy plug-in hybrid where the wheels are always driven electrically, with no mechanical connection to the internal combustion engine.
That internal combustion engine is being sourced from BMW. It's a turbocharged three-cylinder unit that might be related to the unit found in the base Mini Cooper and the BMW i8. Still, Karma says that
has been working with the brand since 2015 to develop the engine, so it could end up being something more bespoke.
"BMW is a natural fit for Karma's luxury-tech focus because it is a proven technology leader renowned for conceiving and delivering ground-breaking innovations," said Bob Kruse, chief technology officer for Karma, in a statement.
The 2020 Karma Revero in which this new BMW-assisted drivetrain will live was designed in-house by Karma and will make its official debut at the Shanghai motor show later this month.
2017 Karma Revero looks like a Fisker, but much improved underneath